L’Occitane’s Lavande is Decadent!


Lavender has been been coveted for thousands of years. Used by the Egyptians, the Romans and later, by queens and royals, the purple flowering plant is ubiquitous in soaps, lotions, perfumes and even honey.

But, y’all? Some products smell SO much better than others!  L’Occitane’s Lavande line is one of the good ones. Wow, does it smell incredible! The French company will tell you on its website that lavender was one the first flowers distilled by L’Occitane founder Olivier Baussan and its still sourced from farmers’ cooperatives in Haute-Provence. Well, that must be it. Your next hostess gift solved!



When Fake is Fabulous…

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He was the ultimate, most glamorous copycat.

Kenneth Jay Lane, who died at age 85 last year, made his fame and fortune designing stylish costume jewelry, based on some of the world’s most exclusive jewels. His enamel and gemstone Maltese cuff bracelet was famously modeled after Chanel’s Verdura cuff. “I myself am a fabulous fake,” he once said, according to his obituary in The New York Times. He was the son of a Detroit auto parts supplier who went on to become besties with the Duchess of Windsor.

Over the years, his creations have been worn by Rihanna, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Bush, Beyoncé and Carolina Herrera. Since his death, his beautiful necklaces, bracelets, earrings and even belts can still be found online at kennethjaylane.com or Etsy, even TRR.

And sometimes, if you look closely at any enamel piece you see, at a TJ Maxx store near you. But will his work increase in price in the future? It will be interesting to see. Lane had such a rich life story, I think owning even one of his creations is a treasure.



Dress Up The White Shirt

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Inspired by Meghan Markle and Jennifer Lopez, the white shirtdress is having a moment. It’s very Tom Cruise in Risky Business (I guarantee no millennials know what I’m talking about with that reference…). New York & Company at Park Place Mall has them, and online you can find the best versions on Michael Kors and ASOS. But the denim boots JLo is wearing? You’re on your own…

Artemesia’s Decadent Desert Suds


Tracy Conklin loves everything about making soap. It wasn’t until her husband stopped her from hauling inside a five-gallon bucket of oil–“Honey, what are we going to do with all this soap?” –that she decided she would try selling it. So, she did. And now, after years of selling the luxe, desert-infused, cold-process creations at street fairs, the master soap maker is now a staple next to Embellish Home Etc. at La Plaza Shoppes, Artemesia Soaps, Salts & Scrubs.

“I just love that you start with a fatty acid and a base and you end up with this beautiful bar,” says Conklin, whose artfully scented soaps, with names like Saguaro Blossom and Desert Rain aim to capture the elusive essence of her desert home. The bars are as visually striking as they are addictive to smell and touch, with rugged edges, textured swirls and modern blocks of color while her girly, rustic packaging and modern website flaunt her roots as a savvy graphic designer.

The craft-loving Conklin owes her passion to a professional soap making class she took at the once-world famous Snowdrift Farm Soap Supply Company, which used to draw eager apprentices from all over the globe to Tucson to learn the craft. She has since expanded her line to include lotions, shave balms, masks and botanical exfoliants. Artemesia will offer the perfect desert souvenirs for travelers as well as gift baskets for brides, birthdays, gifts, etc.

Beauty Brands’ Boss Boxes


Beauty Brands offers these cool boxes of mini luxe products that are not only a good idea for travel, but also fun gifts for the product lovers in your lives. They also make cute stocking stuffers around the holidays and they only cost $15!



Modern Skin Care Can Thank Two UA Biochemists


Thanks to more than 30 years of groundbreaking research by noted UA biochemists Drs. Myron and Elaine Jacobson, the skin care brands StriVectin and Nia 24 are finding incredible success in the prosperous anti-aging market.

The Jacobsons, formerly with the Arizona Cancer Center and now retired, studied the ways in which cells naturally avoided the development of skin cancer. Their exhaustive research led to the discovery of a patented derivative of Niacin/Vitamin B3 that repairs UV-induced DNA damage deep within the skin.

The husband-and-wife team’s work, some of which was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health, also led to the founding of Niadyne, Inc. in 1997, which has a lab right here in Tucson.

Then, StriVectin, best known before for its enticing “Better Than Botox?” ads in magazines hired the Jacobsons as paid consultants and began infusing its line of products with a niacin derivative, recently nabbing 2017 Best of Beauty Awards by Allure Magazine and a 2015 nod from O Magazine’s O-Wards. The Jacobsons were also awarded the 2011 “Innovator in Dermatology” by the Cosmetic Surgery Forum.

So, the next time you are hunting for anti-aging skin creams, maybe pay a nod to these Tucson game-changers. Their products are born from years of science.